Show Us the Mercy!

Sometimes I wish some of these priests would really get into the Year of Mercy and show us a little by retiring already! Why is it that priests in my diocese, careening toward retirement, try to be as obnoxious as they can be on their way out the door?  Now, Fr. Gerard Moran actually hasn’t been one of more obnoxious players in the Oakland diocese, and I’ve never had much of a problem with him other than people finding him a bit unapproachable, but since he decided to go there, here I go. 

Before I start, I would like to tell the dear priests of my diocese: when someone forwards me a nice public statement from you that’s seditious (McGrath isn’t the only one who can use that term), I will respond!  Please don’t feign shock that somebody was horrified by your actions.  You can’t claim you didn’t know.  Fr. Richard Mangini learned that little lesson last year (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/deep-thoughts-from-fr-richard/).

Here’s the lovely little screed Fr. Moran decided to put in his bulletin today.  I’m hoping the good parishioners of St. Isidore’s will drop our bishop a line with their disgust. 

https://www.e-churchbulletins.com/bulletins/513992.pdf

A SAD DAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES!

On October 24, we received the sad news that the Sulpician Fathers would be withdrawing from St. Patrick’s Seminary and University, Menlo Park. In 1884, Archbishop Alemany recruited Sulpician priests to found a seminary to train priests for his vast archdiocese.

Please note, the Sulpicians were not thrown out.  They withdrew, as Fr. Moran correctly said, and from what I understand, it was the mothership that called the remaining Sulpicians at St. Patrick’s home, not their boots on the ground requesting to leave.  By all accounts, the Sulpicians working there now are very faithful priests, so thank you to them! 

The Sulpicians were founded in 1641 by Fr. Olier in the parish of St. Sulpice in Paris. He founded a seminary there to create a worthy secular priesthood. The newly ordained priests were sent to all parts of France, setting a new tone and model for diocesan priests.

And then somewhere along the way they went off the rails and started creating guys like Fr. Moran who don’t understand that the Church isn’t their private playground to do what they will.  They apparently were great at forming priests with a disdain and lack of respect for our hierarchical Church.  They started creating priests who would take their archbishop or bishop to task for taking his job seriously, as if it that is some sort of personality disorder.  It’s called being responsible.

St. Patrick’s Seminary was entrusted to the care of the priests of the Society of St. Sulpice by the archbishops of San Francisco since its founding. The seminary, under the direction of the Sulpicians, was incorporated in 1891; the first high school students were accepted into the Department of Classics in 1898; the Philosophy Department was added in 1902 and the Department of Theology in 1904.

St. Patrick’s Seminary has a truly special place in the hearts of the more than 2,000 priests and almost 40 bishops, including Bishop John S. Cummins, who have received their priestly formation from the Sulpician Fathers. Priests formed by the Sulpicians have touched the lives of countless individuals and families since 1898.

Sadly, until recently, St. Patrick’s has practically been a swear word for those of us who have had to live with the priests ordained there in the 60s and 70s and beyond.  If Bishop Cummins is supposed to be the poster child of what the Sulpicians produce, that would speak volumes as to why this is a grand opportunity for Archbishop Cordileone.

Those of us who were educated in Menlo Park treasure the very personal aspect of our relations with the Sulpicians; from our spiritual direction to our common prayer and to the lecture hall. Their life was a hidden life, a life of prayer, study, a life spent with their students, with an unqualified commitment to serving us and giving us the example of sacerdotal virtues.

Wow!  How awesome would it be if you were taught to treasure your relationship with your former bishop?  I realize it’s probably really hard on those who were used to the Bishop Cummins “do whatever you like” attitude and his overdose of “collegiality” when it came to his priests, but the faithful are REALLY happy to have a bishop and archbishop who are willing to sacrifice their personal happiness and put up with you to protect the faithful and form holy priests.

The Sulpicians were faced with the awesome task in the 1960’s of bridging a path between an older Theological view and the newer perspective being forged by the Second Vatican Council. A high priority was to introduce a course on ecumenism. Archbishop McGucken sanctioned a series of lectures by the noted authority at Stanford University, Robert McAfee Brown.

Unfortunately, they forgot to point out that we are not Protestants.  They might have wanted to form the priests in Catholicism before bringing in the Protestant guy to show you how to rebel.

The Sulpician, Fr. Ray Brown, published for seminarians a one-volume commentary on the Bible, which followed the directives of Pope Pius XII’s encyclical and taught us the historical-critical method of interpreting Scripture. We seminarians saw Fr. Brown as a dedicated priest, who faithfully celebrated Mass each day and used the liturgical celebration to expound the written Word of God. Fr. Brown, the author of 40 books, was appointed by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Oh, my gosh, Father!  Really?  Fr. Ray Brown???  Oh, please!  Let’s just take a little look at him, shall we?  Pope St. John Paul II himself smacked down Brown’s silly notions: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=525

Most Alumni or my generation have happy memories of Sulpician Father Frank Norris, who was a progressive thinker and supporter of the new developments of Vatican II having worked as a translator for non-Catholic observers during the final session of the Council. In spite of his constant demand as a speaker, he published a well-received book on the church, God’s Own People.

Hey, didn’t Yves Congar write the preface for that one?  That’s a whole other story, though.  Sigh!

The Sulpicians gave us a vision of Church which was wide and inclusive, not narrow and blinkered. Sadly, the Sulpicians have been on a collision course with Archbishop Cordileone since his appointment to San Francisco. He fired the rector, Fr. James McKearney, in mid-term 2013 and appointed Bishop Daly, without consultation, as intern rector. During my three years working with Salvatore Cordileone as Bishop of Oakland, I discovered characterological patterns in his behavior, including obsessive compulsive micromanagement. It is my hope and prayer that the three former Archbishops of San Francisco, John Quinn, Cardinal Levada and George Niederauer, will use their influence in Rome to see the Sulpician decision is not irrevocable.

Give me a break, Fr. Moran!  And now their order numbers somewhere around 300 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Priests_of_Saint_Sulpice), as opposed to an order like the Dominicans, which numbers around 6,000, but, hey, it was all Archbishop Cordileone’s fault.  He’s obviously been plotting since he was a small child to overthrow the Sulpicians once he became the guy in charge of the seminary.  Groaaaannnn!  Sorry.  It would seem that the Sulpicians are their own worst enemy, and they likely called their good guys home to rebuild their order before it fades into oblivion.  It was a smart move.

By all means, yes, let’s bring out Archbishop Quinn. You know, the guy who just advocated for the ordination of women?  My goodness, how about we just let the elderly live in peace?

I’m not really sure why you think Cardinal Levada or Archbishop Niederauer would go to bat for you, since they weren’t treated with any more respect than Archbishop Cordileone.  They were also the recipients of the liberals’ blindsides and questioning of their authority.  I’m reasonably sure they don’t want to have anything more to do with the likes of you and your ilk who pine for the “freer”  Bishop Cummins days of answering to nobody but your “internal whatever.”  It’s so sad you can’t see the difference between a good bishop and someone who is obsessive compulsive.  You’re so pompous, the idea of you having to follow the authority of anyone else can’t even be fathomed.  How dare a bishop lead his priests!  The nerve!  Yeah, the Sulpicians did a banner job with you.

 Fr. Moran, you owe the Archbishop, your own Bishop and your congregation one big apology for your misguided missive.  Heck, I think you even owe the Sulpicians an apology for being such a poor example of their formation.  Did you just stop to think for one second that it might have been wildly inappropriate?  At this point, you’ve given us a great glimpse of the products of Sulpicians of the past and why their decision to withdraw might have been great for us.  Maybe now we can look forward to priests who don’t undermine their bishops.  What a concept!

Here’s to many years of the formation of faithful priests and may Archbishop Cordileone find the perfect order to do the job!

If you’d like to express your feeling to Fr. Moran: gmoran@sichurch.com  

Not So Strange Bedfellows

This http://cal-catholic.com/?p=26175 is about as much surprise as Hillary being evil.  In other words, NO SHOCKER HERE!  Quite frankly, I’m reasonably sure that Fr. James Martin, SJ, likely has ties in there somewhere, too, because he’s mentioned in a whole lot of articles with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, but can we just start off with this most obnoxious speaker, Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice?

What we’re all wondering now is what the faithful bishops are going to do about it?  I mean, come on! John Podesta gave them a big ‘ol gift-wrapped package by stupidly putting in writing what many of us already knew.  Are you a bishop who’s wanted to get rid of this guy and his organizations for a while?  You now have the perfect reason to clear house and it’s a reason the average person in the pew can grasp.  Please don’t pass up this chance!  If we can’t get rid of a guy listed in the staff directory of an organization that John Podesta says is meant to overthrow the Church in America, we must be a bit suicidal as a church.

Now what will the response be on Fitzmaurice’s part?  “I didn’t know”?  Please.  He’s stated quite plainly his contempt for Church teachings.  Of course he wants to overthrow it.  Let’s just look at him again:

“http://cal-catholic.com/?p=24440 Fitzmaurice made news in March of this year at an annual conference for religious educators in Los Angeles when he denounced Church teaching on homosexuality as “abusive” and “gravely evil.” The gay ministry has a history of conflict with Church teaching. In 2012, the ministry’s board members defied their bishop, then Salvatore Cordileone, and refused to sign an oath which would bind them to “strive to clearly present Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in its fullness” and “profess personally to hold and believe, and practice all that the holy Catholic church teaches, believes and proclaims to be true, whether from the natural moral law or by way revelation from God through Scripture and tradition.””

Dear Arthur and his merry band of lesbian planners of the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress have their fingerprints all over the dissent at the “Congress”, as we locals call it.  Archbishop Gomez has given them a chance for reform, but he just need to overhaul it or shut it down.  How about some new administrators for the Congress?  All they do now is seek to undermine him yearly.  Honestly?  I think even they are a little shocked that he still lets them manipulate it.  Every year they seem to be trying to go out in a blaze of glory by notching up the dissent and outrageousness just a little more, yet they’re still there.  Last year’s list of undermining?  How about bringing in some transgendered young adults to extol the virtues of being Catholic and transgender? Or how about using the homosexual couple and their child as gift bearers in the offertory?  Cannot wait to see what’s in store for this year!  Maybe a marriage blessing for the lesbian organizer?  Why not? How else would they top the 2016 Congress? 

While it’s impossible to make them go away, at least the Oakland Diocese has disallowed Arthur Fitzmaurice’s other group, the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, from operating with the blessings of the Church after Fitzmaurice and the CALGM club refused to sign an oath of fidelity to traditional Catholic teaching on homosexuality.  It was a no brainer.

Seriously, Archbishop Gomez, I’m sure this level of insanity has been hard to grasp, but grasp it you must.  It’s very real.  The Oakland Diocese used to be THE biggest exporter of heresy in the country, but after our succession of three great bishops, I’m reasonably sure that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and their Congress might hold the title now.  You need to make a few calls and organize a new board for the Congress.  We all know the key players who could successfully pull off the transition and install some true religious education.  Unfortunately, right now it appears 2017 is slated to be another dissent education bash. 

The Wolves are Cozy on the Couch

This has been an awful week for the Catholic Church, hands down.  Can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but the trifecta of bad cardinal appointments stings like hell (and I mean that literally).  I was hoping the devastation would be offset by a Cardinal Chaput appointment, but my hopes were dashed.  The liberals won this battle, pure and simple.  So what are we to do?  What is happening with the Pope?  Why is this happening?  Etc., etc., etc.  These are just some of the questions my poor readers are asking. Sorry this post is going to stray far from the sarcastic norm.

Those of you who read the blog regularly have probably noticed that I don’t criticize the Holy Father.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have questions and thoughts in my head that I don’t convey.  Why don’t I relay them?  Because what good would it do? It would simply  give comfort to the enemy.  He certainly is the Pope.  Anyone who believes a less than stellar pope is not THE Pope doesn’t know history all that well.  We’ve had some pretty awful ones, and we’ve also had great ones who have made less-than-desirable moves.  I mean, who was it again that elevated Cardinal Mahoney?  If that wasn’t an epic mistake, I’m not sure what was. Yet that pope was the guy whose right hand man was Pope Benedict.  Heck, he’s canonized! Everyone has a bad day.  I hope that’s what’s going on here with Pope Francis. 

So, what is the girl who sits on her hands and avoids all attempts to criticize the Pope going to say?  Well, first of all, I feel your pain and I’ll try to be a voice for you.  Yes, these were bad appointments that are going to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the Faith – namely Fr. James Martin, SJ, and his cohorts in crime.  There’s no way to spin it.  However, it’s one battle.  It ain’t the war, and we already know the outcome of that.  It’s just a matter of how bad things will be until we get to that outcome.

So what about Pope Francis?  I’m hardly Rocco Palmo, but my GUESS is that this is what you get when you have a cardinal from Argentina elevated to the papacy.  He was so far removed from the politics of Rome that he doesn’t know who the enemy really is. He has, frankly, Argentinian notions about the rest of the world, and I think he’s actually seen that some of these notions weren’t quite what he thought.  He was insulated there and he’s insulated now. He has no clue and simply trusts those that appear to be friendly really are.  Heck, I’ve seen that happen to great bishops right here in America.  It’s amazing how well the dissidents can gain confidence when they adjust those halos.  However, the faithful bishops and cardinals had better figure out a way to clue him in that he is being handled, or the Church that my kids have to live in is going to tank for the foreseeable future. 

One thing I notice here in the States is that we have this really weird view of collegiality.  Rarely do faithful bishops or cardinals take on a bishop who is undermining doctrine and morality. They’ll all get together on topics where they feel they can win in society, but not on the issues that affect all of us.  Or, at least, this is the view from the pew.  I mean, if the good guys really care about the laity, why don’t they something???  If my husband saw his brother abusing his family, he certainly wouldn’t sit there and say, “Not my problem!”  His brother’s family would also be his family, even if he isn’t the head of their household.  My husband would also lend a brother a hand if they were in crisis and needed back up when they were in the right.  Unfortunately, I don’t really remember the bishops around the United States rallying around Archbishop Cordileone when he rightly wanted to hold his teachers to Catholic standards.  A rally cry instead should have gone up from all the faithful bishops that he was quite right to try to protect the students of the Catholic schools.

Heck, from my point of view, it seems as if the bishops living 20 minutes from each other don’t even consult together.  SOMEBODY, please call for a national summit of faithful bishops, because the laity is dying here!  I mean DYING!  Where the laity is concerned, giving Cupich a red hat doesn’t just affect the people of his diocese.  It affects us all!  The liberal priests, bishops, and cardinals are what they are.  We need the more-than-a -few good men to help us out here.  Why is it the liberals can band together but you guys cannot? It’s almost like watching the Republican party flail around these days.  Meanwhile, over in National catholic Reporter land, they have no qualms about forming an army to put down one faithful priest, bishop, or cardinal at a time.  Then there’s the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good.  Anyone catch Wikileaks this week?  Yes, our conspiracy theories have been validated.

In all seriousness, I would like to see the guys who love their flocks, the Church, the lost, AND my children all get on a plane and knock on Pope Francis’ door and give him the real score.  There is strength in numbers, and this isn’t just a saying.  You can’t let Cardinal Burke do all the talking and be relegated to Malta for the unforeseeable future. When one of you does something necessary to preserve the Faith in one area, you should all be publicizing it in your own dioceses.  Back each other up! More importantly, unite for the sake of MY children. 

Sometimes I feel like we faithful are an afterthought to many of you. That might be unfair but I guarantee that’s how many of us feel. You need to stop worrying about your job, and I’m not saying that in the “That’s all you care about way!”  I know that you want to stay with your flock to affect the most positive of outcomes, but it’s not working. You are essentially being extorted because you’re trying to do it all by yourself.  Cupich and club are undermining you at every turn, and you guys are still plodding on and keeping your noses to the grindstones.  I get the intention, but I think you all need to start being as “sly as the serpent and as gentle as doves” in a little more proactive way.

Your eminences and excellencies, just stop for a moment and pretend you are a father with children (because you are). If another parent or your child’s teacher is telling your child that homosexuality is just another lifestyle choice or that sex outside of marriage was fine, or that it would be just fine for your child to get an abortion because “their circumstance” warranted it, what would you do???????  Would you simply say, “Well, what can I do?” or would you give them a stern talking to about influencing your child to commit spiritual suicide?  I know you don’t have biological children, but darn it, we are supposed to be your spiritual children, yet you are letting the wolves come in and gnaw on us.  You’re reaching out to the lambs already taken from the flock, and I wouldn’t want you to stop, but what about the rest of us? Think long and hard because that’s what’s happening to your flock.  Nobody wants to feel bad about their sin, so they will cling to anyone telling them that they are just peachy.  As a parent, I’m not going to let that happen.  We’re going to fight as a family to keep that from happening.

I get that the bishops are “leaving the ninety-nine to go after the one”, but in our present scenario, when you go after the one, a bunch more are lost.  We’re hemorrhaging the salvation of our young.  There’s no longer just one straying because the shepherds aren’t closing the gate when they go after the one and the wolves are getting in.  It’s a reality that those of us “real world” parents are experiencing.  We’re killing ourselves to make sure all the good you do isn’t undone, but we feel like we can’t get our spiritual fathers to support us because they’re busy with the other children.  You need to find balance like all parents.

Again, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go after those who are straying.  When kids stray in a family, mom and dad have to go after them relentlessly, but at the same time, they need to make sure that no more stray by presenting a mixed message.  The worst thing a parent can do is cave to emotional blackmail.  If I love my child, they are going to know it, but they are also going to know the truth and they will know that I have nothing but their immortal soul in mind.  You can be both firm and loving.  I’m not sure if this is a point lost on those with no biological children, but it needs to be understood.  Saying “No!” can often be the most loving thing you can say, and no, the wandering will not always like it.  So?  We just keep reaching out to them.

I once had a priest curtly ask me, “With all due respect, who are you?!” when I was expressing my concerns about the Pope’s in-flight interviews and the dissenting clergy exploiting them.  My answer?  “Who am I?  I’m a girl who’s concerned about the Pope’s in-flight interviews and the dissenting clergy expounding on them!”  Is that wrong??? Are we simply to keep smiling?  Can I not be concerned? Are we supposed to be in denial about how such things are being used?  I don’t claim to be anything special, but I’m betting I’m echoing the concerns of a good chunk of the laity.  I’m not going into schism and disobedience. I’m just terrified, and I want our fathers to know how terrified we are for our families. I’m not urging the bishops to go rogue.  I’m urging them to be strategic.  We really are in a war.

So, what is the laity to do?  Pray, fast, beg our bishops to fight for their children, and prepare for the next battle.  In other words, carry on.